Understanding Corrective Strategies by Mitch Hauschildt
Recently, we launched the DVRT Corrective Course (HERE) to empower Personal Trainers, Physical Therapists, Athletic Trainers, Chiropractors, movement specialists, and anyone else who desires to move better or help others move better.
Because moving well MUST come before moving often. And, moving often is the key to weight loss, cardio fitness, strength training and enjoying an active lifestyle. It sounds so simple, yet, is often the key for derailing the most well intended fitness programs.
Movement dysfunction is an epidemic in this country. Very few people in our society today can actually squat, lunge, press, pull and plank efficiently. Those things all sound like simple activities, but because of our comfortable lifestyle, we lack mobility and stability in predictable and inefficient patterns. This hurts our ability to work out, labor, or perform basic activities of daily living.
The question must be asked, “do we have to fall apart as we age or is it a choice!?” I can’t think of a better motivator to increase our fitness and fix ourselves, more than opening up the ability for us to be there fore our families.
Many very smart clinicians challenge me on the topic of being able to move all these different ways. They often say that “my old patients don’t need to squat, or press, or (insert movement strategy here).” My response to this is simple. “If that is true, then I hope they never need to sit on a toilet. Or, I hope they don’t want to go shopping and need to push a door open, because you need the ability to squat and press to perform those activities.” And we can go on form there…
How many times have you helped someone lift something out of a shopping cart, or pull an item off the grocery shelf and thought, “I hope that isn’t me one day.”
Luckily, most people reading this aren’t old and frail and are functional enough to perform these basic duties. But, that doesn’t make you susceptible to complications related to poor movement patterns. Ever hear that 80% of Americans are going to suffer a low back injury in their lifetime?
If you work out consistently (and hopefully you do), and you have a faulty movement pattern, at a minimum you are limiting your performance and you are likely setting yourself up for a major injury. This is because you are layering strength on top of dysfunction.
Funny enough, it isn’t a magical supplement, secret exercise, or shiny new piece of equipment you need. Learning to move better is a far more powerful tool for improving your fitness than any of these things!
So many people I see, try to mask their poor movement skills. They add fancy supporting equipment, maybe get a cool looking piece of equipment that is suppose to help them workout around their bad movements. However, adding load to any movement pattern will cement that pattern. This can be a good thing, if you have a good, quality movement pattern. But, if you have a hitch in your squat (for example) and you add load, guess what you just did? You cemented that hitch and you will fight against if for a long time to get it fixed.
Now, some of you are thinking, “That’s why I don’t lift weights,” right? Not so fast. Even if you don’t load a faulty movement, when you move through a bad pattern over and over, you also cement it.
NOTE: Being flexible and knowing how to move aren’t the same thing. I have seen many people, especially women, that have great flexibility, but have created bad movements because of not knowing where to move from and how with their very mobile bodies.
It’s like sledding down a hill after the first snow of the year. The first time down, it is slow and steady through the fluffy white stuff. The next time down the hill it’s a little faster and more efficient. As you keep going, you create a groove on the hill and it gets faster and faster and more efficient.
Your movement patterns are no different. The first few times through a lunge, it is a bit slow and awkward (regardless of the movement quality). After a few reps, it gets easier and faster. Before long, you have locked in that pattern (good or bad).
Many people tell me that the whole idea of corrective exercise is confusing and difficult to implement. That’s why we created the DVRT Corrective Course. We have taken a simple approach to evaluating quality of movement and provided strategies to correct deficiencies. This is a great place to start if you have never performed corrective exercises before. But, keep in mind that once you fully understand the basic concepts of corrective exercise, the number of solutions becomes endless within the DVRT system.
In the book Movement (Cook, et al.), the authors describe 4 advanced concepts for corrective exercise. We use these 4 concepts extensively within the DVRT system. They allow us to use the body’s various systems to re-pattern, retrain, and essentially “trick” the body into moving away from its existing poor movements and create new, quality strategies.
These advanced strategies include Reverse Patterning, Reactive Neuromuscular Training, Conscious Loading, and Resisted Exercise. In future blog posts, we will break down each of these techniques and explain why, how and when to implement each.